My wife has been playing around with FitDay lately. It's a free online way to list everything you eat in a day and see what the nutritional breakdown is.
After seeing her fat/carb/protein breakdown, I got curious. Ever since I started what I call the Evolutionarily Appropriate Diet (i.e., paleo, caveman, hunter-gatherer... etc.), I've refrained from counting calories--after all, if what I'm eating is "appropriate," I shouldn't need to. But since I've been uping the intensity of my weight training this summer, I have worried a little about whether or not I'm getting enough protein.
In any case, I typed in a few days to see roughly where I'm at. It turns out that I'm eating more than 5000 calories a day.
Today was 5,238. Yesterday was more. That pigout day I had last week came in at 6150 calories. And I've been pretty much eating this way the whole time I've been on this diet--in other words, I've been rapidly losing weight while eating 5000+ calories a day.
Gary Taubes explained in Good Calories, Bad Calories that not all calories are the same, but the idea that I could be eating like this and still losing weight just floors me. The "caloric balance" calculator on FitDay (which takes into account exercise levels, etc.) suggests that I should be gaining 3.6 pounds a week. Instead I've lost a total of 50 pounds from my all time high.
Need any more proof that a calorie is not just a calorie?
Just so you know, my breakdown for today was 72% fat, 15% protein, 8% carbs, and 5% alcohol (or will be once I crack open the Old Crow). That might seem low for protein, but with the total caloric intake so high, I'm getting more than a gram of protein per pound of lean body weight.
I may experiment by slightly cutting back on a few of the fattier things (I ate a whopping 1561 calories worth of nuts and 514 of heavy cream today) and adding a little more protein, but then again, I may not.
After all, I'm losing weight on a 5000+ calorie diet. What more can I ask?
[NOTE: If anyone wants to try out FitDay and post their numbers in the comments, please do! (You can post anonymously or make up a fake name if you want.) I'm really curious as to how many calories others are eating...]